It is with regret that we announce today, 12th March 2020, that the joint USA Implicit Religion Conference and the SORAAAD workshop has been postponed until 1st -3rd June 2021 due to COVID-19 (Corona Virus). We have taken this difficult decision to ensure the health and well-being of our delegates, speakers, and their families to the limited extent to which we can have an impact on this. It is not simply about people gathering in a room as posing a risk but also the journeys one must take to and from the conference. We want to thank Dr. Kayla Wheeler, Dr. Kelly J. Baker and Dr. David Dault for working and conversing with us on how best to handle this. We would also like to extend our thanks to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) for being so willing to co-operate with us in such a professional manner.

We are very aware that most of our delegates are graduate students who are now not only facing a global pandemic but are being put into a situation where they could be unable to teach due to campuses shutting down. This could potentially be almost a full semester of lost wages, as well as housing insecurity, and food insecurity. We don’t want to add to this by causing uncertainty over whether to book travel, budget for conference costs, and any additional costs. While there is little we can do to mitigate these structural inequalities, we understand that many delegates present a work in progress. so we are offering any student or graduate student who has an abstract accepted an opportunity to work on it in a virtual tutorial with Francis and / or Ipsita

To anyone who has submitted a proposal, or was planning to by the original deadline of 31st March, we will provide full feedback to anyone whose paper is accepted for presentation, to be arranged over the Summer and Fall of 2020. We will guarantee you a place at the conference in 2021, that will take place in Chicago, at UIC. The call for papers for “Committment” will remain open until the original deadline of the 31st March. It will be reopened in the fall semester for new entries, if any places remain.

If your proposal is accepted in this round, we will ask that you list the acceptance on your CV for this year, and note the postponement due to COVID-19 (until you present it next year).1 If anyone requires an official letter to state that their paper was accepted, please get in touch with Francis and it will be supplied.

We wish you well under these difficult and unpredictable circumstances.

Best wishes,

Dr Francis Stewart Director, the Edward Bailey Research Centre at BGU &
Dr Ipsita Chatterjea, Executive Director, the SORAAAD workshop

1 Please use the term “COVID-19” and do not encourage or platform racism by describing it as the China Virus or Wuhan Virus.

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